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Culture and Access

To build a culture of empathy and equity

The Culture and Access department works to build a culture of empathy and equity across all units in ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts for students, faculty and staff. The department also works to dismantle systems of oppression that affect the recruitment and retention of marginalized students, faculty and staff in our Herberger Institute community. Culture and Access department oversees the Herberger Institute Core Equity Team, Shifting the Gaze and Herberger Institute Days.


Culture and Access leadership team

Culture and Access is led by Melita Belgrave, associate dean for Culture and Access and associate professor in the School of Music, Dance and Theatre.


    Core Equity Team

    Culture and Access also includes a Core Equity Team made up of faculty and staff across the Institute’s five schools and the ASU Art Museum. The Core Equity Team works with Race Forward, a national organization that provides research and training to advance racial equity, to develop equity tools to use across the Institute for communication, operations, hiring and decision making.

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    Herberger Institute Day

    Herberger Institute Day was born from Dean Steven Tepper’s desire to bring together the students, faculty and staff of the institute’s five schools and art museum for creative conversation and exploration. 

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    Shifting the Gaze

    Shifting the Gaze was an in-house arts-based journal designed to offer critiques on issues of race, equity, justice, diversity and inclusion to leaders across the Herberger Institute. The journal assisted the Herberger Institute team in refocusing its attention from the White gaze and moving toward setting its sights on news and events surrounding BIPOC communities by producing material that centers BIPOC communities both on and off campus. We also employed a variety of methods that honor multiple epistemological approaches. As such, Shifting the Gaze used poetry, rap, musical pieces, scholarly essays, videos, dances, letters, reflections and other creative artistic expressions that called on leaders to readjust their lens in order to hear, see and empathize with experiences occurring outside of one’s own purview.


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